When what some individuals want to name the “new Big East” was fashioned upfront of the 2013-14 season – principally, that’s a time period utilized by individuals who spent quite a lot of time across the “outdated Big East – there was some dialogue concerning whether or not it will be prudent to ask Gonzaga to affix.
Gonzaga is without doubt one of the finest basketball packages in any convention. The Zags would have been a prize for the Big East. But nevertheless huge the Big East may be, it most likely was a stretch to aim to annex Spokane, Wash.
So as a substitute we get Gonzaga vs. Creighton within the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Gonzaga enters because the No. 1 total seed within the event, nonetheless carrying an undefeated file, and Creighton arrives having defeated two mid-major opponents after dropping by a boatload of factors within the Big East Tournament ultimate.
So we don’t know if the Blue Jays have repaired all that went improper within the championship game in opposition to Georgetown. They beat two effective groups, UC Santa Barbara and Ohio U., however neither presents the form of problem that arrives in Gonzaga uniforms.
The Zags are one of the best workforce within the nation. Whether they are going to be champions might be determined in 4 video games. Or fewer.
Here’s the whole lot to find out about betting on Gonzaga vs. Creighton within the 2021 NCAA Tournament, together with up to date odds, tendencies and our knowledgeable’s prediction for the Sweet 16 game.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton odds
- Spread: Gonzaga by 13.5
- Over/beneath: 158
- Moneyline: Gonzaga -1100, Creighton +700
Three betting tendencies to watch
— Depending on how one classifies BYU, Gonzaga is 5-1 ATS in video games in opposition to major-conference opponents. (The Zags didn’t cowl in any of their three victories over BYU).
— Creighton has been an underdog solely 3 times beforehand this season and was 2-1 in these video games.
— No undefeated workforce has misplaced a Sweet 16 game since 1971, when Marquette fell to Ohio State within the Mideast Region semifinals. Eight groups took excellent data into this spherical since and superior to the regional finals.
Gonzaga key gamers
Guard Jalen Suggs might be the No. 1 total decide within the 2021 NBA Draft, relying on who holds it and what kind of participant they want to land. He is essentially the most full guard prospect in Division I, with the elite athleticism one would need from a contemporary NBA participant in addition to a strong capturing stroke and the flexibility to ship a scoring cross heading in the right direction. Wing Corey Kispert is a greater shooter within the faculty game. Big man Drew Timme is just not an above-the-rim man and barely takes his game to the perimeter, however he has an excellent knack for scoring within the submit and strikes nimbly sufficient to defend away from the basket.
Creighton key gamers
Shooter Mitchell Ballock might be the important thing participant for Creighton, though he is available in because the workforce’s fifth-leading scorer. He hits 39.5 p.c of his threes, and he had huge days in a few of the workforce’s largest wins (20 in opposition to Villanova, 29 in opposition to Seton Hall). Point guard Marcus Zegarowski was a first-team All-Big East alternative. The undersized Blue Jays begin two different 6-5 gamers (Damien Jefferson and Denzel Mahoney) and 6-7 Christian Bishop at heart. Bishop excels at utilizing his ballhandling potential to drive it on greater defenders.
Best particular person matchup: Kispert vs. Mahoney
It’s tough to know which of Creighton’s perimeter gamers will match up with Kispert, however let’s begin right here as a result of containing Kispert is so vital to staying within the game with the Zags. Few have accomplished both, in fact, however when BYU held a double-digit lead at halftime of the WCC championship game, Kispert had scored solely three factors. He rapidly warmed up within the second half and wound up scoring 14 within the ultimate 20 minutes. Kispert is capturing 54.5 p.c from the sector and 45.8 p.c on threes. Attempting to disclaim Kispert his favored spots on the ground, notably simply to the best of the highest of the important thing, is vital to containing the Gonzaga assault. Mahoney has not had his finest capturing 12 months and linked solely on 32.8 p.c from deep. But he has the power to trouble Kispert and even perhaps issues up a bit.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton stat to know
Creighton is nicely often called a 3-point capturing workforce largely due to the trio of Zegarowski, Ballock and Mahoney, who’ve mixed to make 205 threes this season. But the Blue Jays really are a simpler workforce on 2-point makes an attempt, the place they rank tenth within the nation in comparison with 52nd in 3-point accuracy, in response to KenPom.com. The 3-point shot is vital to the Blue Jays assault, however they rank thirty second within the share of their discipline objective makes an attempt which can be from 3-point vary. So it’s not like that’s their solely option to rating.
Get to know … Marcus Zegarowski
Zegarowski led Creighton to a share of the Big East title as a sophomore and was projected as an All-American within the preseason. There was a slight decline in his key stats (15.7 ppg, 4.4 apg). The Blue Jays had been barely much less efficient as a workforce with out guard Ty-Shon Alexander, who turned professional after final season and has spent many of the 12 months within the G League. So it wasn’t the dream season many imagined, however this one’s not solely ending within the NCAA Tournament, Creighton is taking part in within the Sweet 16. Zegarowski has been a greater participant in March Madness, averaging 18.5 factors and 5 assists by means of two rounds.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton prediction
After what Gonzaga heart Drew Timme did to Oklahoma in a second-round game Monday, which has a number of huge man together with a legit shot-blocker in 6-10 Kur Kuath, Creighton is confronted with a tough job defending the submit. Timme was 9-of-12 from the ground and scored 30 factors, and he additionally handed for 4 assists. Creighton begins 6-7 Christian Bishop on the heart spot. They do have a shot-blocker in Ryan Kalkbrenner to return off the bench, however he’s skinny and inexperienced and should battle to take care of Timme’s balletic footwork. Creighton’s finest probability: make quite a lot of pictures and discover away to make the Zags depressing on the perimeter. They guard the 3-point line very nicely. They’ll have to as a way to have an opportunity.
Final rating: Gonzaga 89, Creighton 75